December 8, 2018
sony xperia xz3

Xperia XZ3, this is his name, tip very high with top-level hardware, renewed design. Even if not completely comfortable, and finally improvements on the camera side. Will he be able to compete with the big ones?

Sony has not particularly captured the attention of users in the mobile sector. His latest smartphone series Xperia has never upset that design now becomes iconic of the house. It also perhaps too anonymous and not very modern compared to the proposals of other manufacturers. Xperia XZ2 has attempted the Ambient Flow card which has certainly made it more engaging and has allowed Sony to arrive now. The new Xperia XZ3 to be able to play many more cards on the winner’s table.

The new Sony Xperia XZ3 is undoubtedly a beautiful smartphone to see but also to touch. Trendy lines but also top-end hardware with Snapdragon 845 processor. A proven and improved Motion Eye camera and especially already Android 9.0 Pie customized by Sony with some news. Falling within Artificial Intelligence. Last but not least for the first time in Sony an OLED display that is undoubtedly the real attraction of the smartphone capable of supporting the HDR10 and above all to give unforgettable moments for quality. But let’s take a closer look at this new Xperia XZ3 here on Hardware Upgrade.

SONY Xperia XZ3 Specifications

  SONY Xperia XZ3
OS (at launch) Android 9.0 Pie
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Display OLED Triluminos 6.0 “Quad HD + (18: 9) HDR
Resolution 2880×1440 px
Storage (at launch) 64 GB + MicroSD up to 512GB
Rear Camera Main EXMPOR 19MPx (35mm – f / 1.8) EIS
Pixel pitch 1.22μm Predictive auto focus (0.03s
video @ 30fps Super Slow Motion video 960fps at 1080p.
Front Camera 13MPx
Extra 4G LTE Cat.18 with 1.2Gbps
Fingerprint sensor
Certification IP-68
Ports USB Type-C
Battery 3.300 mAh + Fast charging + Wireless charging
dimensions 158 x 73 x 9.9 mm
Weight 193 gr


Sony Xperia XZ3


  • Incredibly good screen
  • Feels and looks premium
  • 4K HDR video is excellent


  • Fingerprint scanner placement is awkward
  • The camera is good, not great
  • New UI features stutter and misfire

DESIGN: a lot of elegance even if ‘slippery’

sony xperia xz3

The new Sony Xperia XZ3 an important change compared to its predecessor, although, as mentioned. It does not revolutionize the design seen with Xperia XZ2 that is taken in some details making the Sony signature recognizable. The mood of the moment is glass and aluminum and even the Japanese company could not avoid proposing it to its users. However, featuring the famous Ambient Flow, indistinguishable sign of the new Xperia. Which improves compared to the past softening the curves. Well evident on the front, and thinning the thickness.

The new lines seem to flow naturally in the 7000 series aluminum frame in the same color as the rest of the smartphone. And speaking of color, it is important to underline the particularity of the new “Green Forest” color. Somehow makes this Sony unique compared to other competitors compared to the standard black and white silver colors. The size is certainly not poor because we are talking about a smartphone capable of reaching almost 16 cm in length. But with a width of only 7.3 cm and thickness, as mentioned reduced, of 9.9 mm in the most important central part. All with a non-feather weight of 193 grams that are still well balanced.

The Sony Xperia XZ3 has on the right side of the frame three different buttons that allow you to turn on and off the phone. To raise or lower the volume and especially to activate the camera quickly without going to look for it on the display. On the left side, on the other hand, nothing is seen since the SIM trolley, in nano format. And in hybrid mode with the expansion of the memory or a second SIM is positioned at the top and unlike many competitors with manual extraction. Therefore without the need to use special accessories.

I repeat that it is a pity, having placed the fingerprint sensor on the back of the fingerprint. So low compared to what usually happens with other competitors. All this does not allow immediate contact with the sensor. Which is almost always missed by the finger. Which instead impacts with the camera glass too positioned not too high. Not a little problem that can be bypassed by taking differently the smartphone. Even if the important length does not always allow it. Changing the access mode to the device with the sequence or the manual PIN.

The recognition of the face is present but very often does not activate the raising of the smartphone or does not recognize the registered user too well. Too bad even for an ergonomy a little ‘sacrificed by the small thickness especially on the entire frame. The combination of this design with materials with glass makes the Sony Xperia XZ3 really slippery. Unfortunately, the need for a cover seems inevitable even if this leads to a sacrifice of its beautiful aesthetic.

The rest sees the presence at the top and bottom of a very powerful double front speaker. So a USB 3.1 port that also eliminates the hole for the classic 3.5mm headphone jack and the usual microphones that enhance the call experience.

DISPLAY: so much ‘beauty’ thanks to the OLED

To be honest, I did not think that one day Sony would actually put an OLED display on an Xperia phone. But it happened and useless to go around: the panel is truly a sight to see as well as having some known benefits compared to the classic IPS LCDs. In this case, the superiority of blacks and contrasts is clear even if at the level of brightness perhaps. It is not at its maximum capacity even if there is a maximum mode that exceeds 600 nits.

In terms of numbers we are in the presence of a 6-inch OLED panel in 18: 9 formats with Quad HD resolution + 2,880 x 1,440 pixels with TRILUMINOS X-Reality technology. Bright colors, perfect blacks, infinite contrast, fluidity and pixel response times make the experience objectively better than any Xperia LCD we’ve seen in the past. Also to be emphasized is the HDR support, even allowing 10-bit colors and the BT.2020 standard certification. In a nutshell, it means that on the Sony XZ3 panel. It is possible to play content in HDR10 which is nothing but the standard. We usually find on the various video streaming xperia xz3

Sony is possible for the user to act on the various parameters of the display on the menu from the “Standard” to those with colder or warmer colors depending on need and preference user. Moreover, one cannot fail to mention the Ambient Display that Sony has decided. Fortunately, to implement and which guarantees a selection of five different styles of watches alongside extensive notification controls. Controls for music, as well as some graphic content customized by the user.

HARDWARE: everything runs smoothly

The new Sony Xperia XZ3 borrows practically the hardware of the previous Xperia XZ2. Quite frankly, this is not surprising, since Qualcomm’s new flagship chipset is not yet in circulation and the past generation of the top-of-the-range has not completed nearly 6 months of life. So in the Sony Xperia XZ3. We find the CPU Snapdragon 845 which is supported data in hand 4GB of RAM. A configuration similar to many other top-of-the-range competitors and that even here. It behaves very well in managing all daily operations even simultaneously.

The numbers in the various tests of “power” do nothing but confirm two things: on the one hand. Sony aligns with the other smartphones with Snapdragon 845. The potential of the CPU allows you to position yourself at the top of the ranking behind only the made processors in Apple Cupertino.

It is important to underline how the coupling between the CPU and the operating system does nothing but guarantee excellent performance. Android version in a little “magazine” by the Japanese company guarantees that fluidity that we can only see with Google Pixels. And they say a lot about the work that manufacturers should make in their smartphones with their customization of graphical interfaces.

The Sony Xperia works very well and does so in a meticulous and almost total. It almost refers to the fact that sometimes some lag, delay or stumbling comes under stress but more than ever seems to be some problem of youth also due to Android 9.0 Pie with which Sony is equipped.

GRAPHIC INTERFACE: little customization but good

Regardless of your tastes and opinions on the history of Sony Xperia. The new top of the range undeniably represents a new and important step in the user experience of the company. The interface shows a level of continuity with the past but is reevaluated with the new Android 9.0 Pie on which the new UX is based.

Sony has really cleaned up its Xperia Launcher that manages to keep everything neat but also “fluid” in every situation symptom that the work done by the developers has happened in the right direction. The menus are well organized, with attached search boxes and even the feed page becomes optional and better customizable. Then there are some aspects of Android 9.0 that shine in the user interface of this Xperia such as the new and improved volume controls. The positioning of the cursor on the side of the user interface. Sony puts us of his and adds in this menu a level for Dynamic Vibration that allows you to have a vibration to the rhythm of video and music. A feature that I admit I really enjoyed and that makes it more satisfying the vision of multimedia content.

On the other hand, the Side sense is an experience of Xperia Launcher’s really original and useful. It is a custom interface similar to a drawer that can be activated by double-tapping anywhere along the curved edge, right or left, of the Xperia XZ3 display. The detection seems to be done via the display, as opposed to similar solutions. Which instead uses specialized hardware right in the frame of the phone. The menu itself is a kind of user interface of Android Pie reduced and customizable by the user or entered directly. Artificial Intelligence present in the phone based on the use of the applications and the most used shortcut buttons.

CAMERA: single as in Google Pixels

Now let’s talk about the camera because Sony decides to offer its audience an Xperia XZ3 with a single photosensor at the rear. An anachronistic choice right now on the mobile market but we know that Sony has always worked a bit against the current in this respect. In this case, we speak of an IMX400 Exmor RS sensor characterized by 19MPx and above all by a focal aperture of f / 2.0 and an equivalent length equal to 35mm. So let’s forget the dual cam solution of XZ2 Premium but we can say that the new top of the company’s range really defends itself very well. No optical image stabilization (OIS) even if the electronic stabilization still manages to compensate well for this lack.Sony Xperia XZ3 Back Cover

As usual, Sony adds some predictive acquisition algorithms and all this can be seen in the shots thanks to the new BIONZ processing algorithm that has been renewed by the company. Looking at the practice here is that the shots made with the camera of the smartphone are definitely pleasant in a good light. Little noise present with details of the subjects and objects very high and excellent contrast in addition to rich colors.

In low light conditions, the smartphone still manages to assert itself and the results are just as good. Clearly, the noise increases in the shots but there are also many details with saturation always kept under control together with the colors of the scene.

Before we speak instead of a 13MPx cam. A sensor improved compared to the past with a focal aperture of f / 1.9 able to capture a lot of light and make the selfie good conditions in fact of important brightness. With less light, everything becomes softer even if we admit that for social use the shots are more than enough.

At the video level, Sony has now delighted us with its authentic slow-motion effects and before many other competitors. Even with the Sony Xperia XZ3, all this happens and slow-motion video can reach 960fps even in 1080p resolution. For the rest, we can get videos recorded at the highest resolution of 4K at 30 fps. While for 60 fps you have to lower the resolution to Full HD that can work even at 30 fps.

AUTONOMY: we would always want more but that’s okay too

We can say that the Sony Xperia XZ3 has accommodated us. Yes, because of its 3,300 mAh battery. Although not high compared to other competitors. It manages to bring us in the evening without too much effort and above all without necessarily having to limit energy savings. However, present and effective in emergency situations. Moreover, the display thanks to its OLED matrix allows lower energy consumption typical of this type of panel. A day of stress with a mixed connection in Wi-Fi and 4G networks we still managed to exceed 6 hours of active

If the smartphone is not downloaded quickly is also true that Sony although mentioning the fast charging USB Power Delivery unfortunately in the package is not provided suitable power supply and this allows the smartphone to fully recharge in over 2 hours and a half. Biblical times for the recharge that we usually find in the latest Android smartphones but normal if we compare it instead with that of the iPhone XS or XS Max. So nothing transcendental but certainly would always be convenient to get fast refills.


A top of the range of the Xperia series had a camera that was not up to the task. Another had short battery life, another was too big and cumbersome in short. Each generation seemed not to have that particular ability to ensure a high level of product. With Xperia XZ3 those times seem by now passed for Sony and I would say finally.

Sony could have done a little more for the charging speed and potentially could have placed the fingerprint sensor higher and with a less slippery design. Of course, however, we cannot complain about the display that is really winning in this new top of the range as well as the camera that surprises in many shots. It also changes the design and once again changes the graphical interface that is based on Android 9.0 Pie of already.

Who loves Sony and its Xperia certainly cannot appreciate all this positive news. But we are sure that even the long-time fans who had perhaps put aside the company. Its Xperia could easily come back into vogue with this Sony Xperia XZ3. That we remember is sold by the company at a price of $ 799.

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